Poland is now as unpredictable as Russia, says Swedbank chief economist Nerijus Mačiulis, adding that recent developments in Poland, which has become the second-largest export market for Lithuanian goods, may have negative repercussions for Lithuania.
Poland
© AP/Scanpix

"Unfortunately, Poland is the new Russia - just as unpredictable and almost as dangerous because of its current economic and social policies," Mačiulis said during Swedbank's press conference on Tuesday. "And this has direct bearing for Lithuania, since Poland is the second biggest market for Lithuanian-made goods and even if Poland cannot adopt direct protectionist measures, as Russia did, radical depreciation of the zloty means that exporting to this market will not be easy. Another risk of cheap zloty is that our own consumers will make more frequent shopping trips to Poland."

However, changes in Poland might help draw more foreign investment to the Baltic countries, including Lithuania, he said.

"In investors' eyes, Poland is little better than Russia right now and, in the race for international investment, the Baltic States look much better and can potentially take over some of the flows of foreign direct investment attracted by Poland," he said.

According to Swedbank’s data, exports of Lithuanian-made goods to Poland last year accounted for 7.6% of the total, which made Poland the second-biggest market for those exports, after Germany with 13.7%.

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